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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

KoL - My HCNP Run Day 1 Analysis

This is a sample run of me doing a Hardcore No Path run on Kingdom of Loathing. For permanent skills, I have been following the Hardcore Skill priority list found here, with a few exceptions here and there for aftercore usefulness, trophies, and other purposes.
  • These are the skills I currently have.
  • These are the familiars I currently have.
  • With no other restrictions, I can usually ascend in 5 days, right around 1000 turns spent. 
  • My play style isn't necessarily optimal, so may not be the best guide to use. 
    • I use LOTS of MP for buffs. Therefore, MP restoring familiars are necessary.
      • Moxie classes are best for restoring MP with familiars.
  • This run will be as a Seal Clubber.
    • The Mongoose Zodiac
    • Grab Astral six-pack, and an Astral belt
Well, I'm sure there will be plenty of room for improvement, but here we go.
Day 1 - Goal: Reach level 6, aim for Liver of Steel

First thing's first. Get the letter from Toot Oriole, and sell like 3 or 4 pork stones. Buy a casino pass, at least 3 hermit permits, and a few chewing gum on strings and get the following.
  • Turtle Totem - I use a lot of Turtle Tamer buffs, mainly Jingle Bells, Curiosity of Br'er Tarrypin, and Empathy.
  • Stolen Accordion - Accordion Thief buffs are very helpful. 
  • 3 worthless trinkets at least, for a chisel, hot buttered roll, and a ten-leaf clover. Get another + hermit permit for sweet rims, if lucky.
Then use the two ten-leaf clovers you have now to get 2 rocks from the slots in the casino. Craft the legendary weapons for Turtle Tamer and Accordion Thief, then I start buff myself with The Magical Mojomuscular Melody for max MP, and also cast Summon Clip Art to make a Ur-Donut. Eat the donut to gain stats to level 3 immediately. If there's enough meat for the Detuned Radio from the Degrassi Knoll General Store, grab that and tune it to +10 ML as well. I also equip the hat, pants, and the astral belt, but no weapons, as the damage and bonuses from Kung Fu Hustler is much better early on. Go to the Clan VIP room and play strategically on the pool table for MP regen to help buff myself with early on. Pick a MP restoring familiar, like Rogue Program and collect tokens for spleen items, Tickle-Me-Emilio for stats while getting help in combat as well as MP, or Baby Bugged Bugbear with its beanie if I'm killing the enemy too fast for the other familiars to give me much MP.

The first thing I usually do is the Pretentious Artist's Quest, while working on the Guild's Entrance Quest as well. If I have enough MP to spare, I cast Smooth Movement to speed up this part. However, priority goes to buffs. After a few adventures, I try to keep the following buffs active.
  • The Magical Mojomuscular Melody - 3 MP
  • Leash of Linguini - 12 MP
  • Jingle Bells - 5 MP
  • Curiosity of Br'er Tarrypin - 10 MP (pass this if using Stocking Mimic)
  • Empathy - 15 MP
  • Fat Leon's Phat Loot Lyric - 11 MP (optional)
  • The Moxious Madrigal - 2 MP (optional - preferred if plinking with Cocoabo-type familiars)
I also cast Summon Tasteful Items for accessories to equip, and Summon Alice's Army Cards for the coupon. Getting good booze early on is hard, so I tend to rely on this a lot. I also pick up a pumpkin from my campground, and buy a fermenting powder to make some pumpkin beer. Gives good stats, if you still need some, but also restores some MP as well. Not to mention the adventures. If possible, I try to hold them off until I find any other booze, even Mad Train Wine, to drink with for when I can cast Ode to Booze. Also, I cast Summon BRICKOs 4 times to get enough for a BRICKO pants. Great defense early on.

I made a mistake this run by casting The Moxious Madrigal first instead of Clip Art, so I did not get to level myself with the Ur-Donut before I go into combat, nor did I have enough MP to cast Entangling Noodles. So, I got beaten up in a single turn, unfortunately. >_>; Going to have to take off the Astral Belt until I establish some decent MP pool to work with.

Once I get my pail and get access to my guild, I go ahead and start working on the Level 2 quest. Try to have both Smooth Movement and Sonata of Sneakiness active while I unlock the Hidden Temple. Then move on to the Level 3 quest, and move along the edge to the opposite corner in the darkness to find the faucet. With +30 ML however, there have been times when I would encounter the Drunken Rat King. Usually, I'm too weak to fight them, and/or don't have enough MP to be able to hit them often enough, so I like using the Mini-Hipster here. The Ironic Spoon is nice to have if you're spell slinging, if you happen to get one from the Mini-Hipster fights.

I didn't get any Mini-Hipster adventures yet, unfortunately. Nor did I fight a Drunken Rat King. At this point, I went and completed the Bitchin' Meat Car to take my first vacation. Got lucky... ? and got a Rhinestone Cowboy Shirt.

The Level 4 quest, I tend to skip unless I happen to find Sluglord's map at the Sleazy Back Alley. I'll go and grab a Knob Goblin Harem Veil for stench resistance in the Guano Junction, but you'll have to hit level 5 first. In the meantime, I would attempt to unlock Fernswarthy's Tower. After that, I would consider quickly reaching level 5 in the Cola Wars undisguised, if I don't have many turns of Non-Combat boosting buffs left. If I do have a good deal, I'll go ahead and attempt to get the manual from the tower ruins. As for getting the shovel to dig up Fernswarthy's grave, take a Fairy-type familiar, like the Slimeling, or maybe even a Spangle pants Scarecrow, which will require a Fax Machine in the clan VIP Lounge, and a Yellow Ray. My Yellow Ray of choice is the Unbearable Light from the Clip Art Tome. Back up can be a Pumpkin Bomb in my case, but I need the all the booze I can get on Day 1. The last Clip Art item to get is a Bucket of Wine to cap the night with.

I got lucky and managed to find Fernswarthy's Grave immediately after I got the grave robbing shovel, so I didn't lose my Kung Fu Hustler bonuses, so I continue to keep fighting unarmed. Reached level 5 while looking for the Knob Goblin Encoder and discovering the Spookyraven Manor, after drinking 3 pumpkin beers at this point. Couldn't gather up 50 MP for Ode to Booze.

This is where I start the Level 5 Quest, until I get the Knob Goblin Harem Girl outfit. Then I go back to do the Level 4 Quest. Before I do that though, I go to Cobb's Knob's Kitchen to get some food ingredients for some more adventures, as I'm usually short on adventures by now. Best scenario, I reach level 6, and enough ingredients for 2 reagent pastas to fill up on. If not, tomatoes for Boring Spaghetti, or if I don't get very lucky, just eat non-ingredient foods like overcookie, knob nuts, etc. After filling up on food, I go to unlock the Boss Bat Chamber through Sonar-in-a-biscuits and/or Scream Bats, while holding onto one for a possible tower monster requirement. If possible, get a Baseball as well for the same reason.

In the end, I did reach level 6, after unlocking the Boss Bat Chamber, so I went straight for the Level 6 Quest. My goal was to get a Hell Ramen to finish eating for the day, and I managed to do so with the help of Mini-Hipster keeping me alive for the most part, while I clobber things to give the Hipster more turns to give me more MP. Unfortunately, rollover got too close at this point, so I rush to get 50 MP for Ode to Booze, and cap the night off with a Bucket of Wine.

Planning ahead for tomorrow, depending on how far away I am from level 7 by the time I finish the Level 6 quest, I may or may not skip getting Liver of Steel on Day 2. Of course, I've never skipped it yet in any of my runs, but it's been something I've been considering lately. However, usually, I'm not close enough to reaching level 7, and due to a lack of good place to get stats early on at this point other than the 8-Bit area while getting the Digital Key (unless I attempt some crazy Hobopolis Sewer leveling that I've never done), most likely I'll be working on getting the Liver of Steel. The main goal for Day 2 is to reach level 8 for the mining quest. It would also be nice if I can get there before eating food, so that I can craft a Milk of Magnesium to get more adventures, but that will be difficult. Another thing to plan out is what Tomes to use for tomorrow, as you only get 3 casts per day. I always cap with a Bucket of Wine, so that's one. Most likely, I'll be Yellow Ray-ing a Miner for the Mining Gear, so that's another for an Unbearable Light. That leaves one last tome usage on either Stickers (in preparation for level 12 quest), Sugar Sheet (for Sugar Shield, used with the Jumpsuited Hound Dog for finding Lobsterfrogman, and the Naughty Sorceress' Guardian Familiars), or perhaps a Halo from the Clip Art, albeit that could have been better had I done it today instead of Yellow Ray-ing the mariachi, considering I hadn't used the Fancypants Scarecrow at all today. A Furry Halo would be a nice replacement for the Sugar Shield for the NS Guardian Familiars, as I have Amphibian Sympathy, Leash of Linguini, and Empathy of the Newt for +15 lbs already. I guess if I had a He-Boulder, I wouldn't have to use up tome spells on Unbearable Lights, giving me more flexibility. Ultimately, I will save it for how badly I need food, in this case an Ultrafondue, while working on the Level 7 Quest. If not, Sugar Sheet is sounding pretty good at this point. Anyway, that concludes Day 1.

End stats for Day 1.
Level 6 Seal Clubber
Muscle: 41 (31)
Mysticality: 38 (22)
Moxie: 25 (22)

Adventure Count for Day 1
+ 40 : Rollover
- 2 : 2 Big Rocks from Casino
+ 2 : Ate a Ur-Donut
- 15 : Spent on Pretentious Artist and Guild Entrance quests.
- 1 : Faxed Sleepy Mariachi for Spangle Equips.
+ 18 : Used 3 Coffee Pixie Stick.
- 22 : Spent on Level 2 Quest and unlocking the Hidden Temple.
- 9 : Spent on Level 3 Quest.
- 3 : First Vacation to start the 35 adventure counter for tower monster items.
- 4 : Dug Fernswarthy's Grave.
+ 13 : Drank 3 Pumpkin Beer
- 11 : Unlock Cobb's Knob and Spookyraven Manor.
- 2 : Cocktail crafting 2 Tavern Swill booze.
+ 17, 17, 5 : Drank 2 Tavern Swill booze and a Mad Train wine with Ode to Booze.
- 13 : Collected Knob Goblin Harem Girl outfit and some food components from the kitchen.
- 1 : Cooked Boring Spaghetti.
+ 8, 2, 3, 2 : Ate Boring Spaghetti, Chorizo Taco (Summon Lunch), Knob Nuts, Overcookie.
- 16 : Unlocked Boss Bat Chamber, got an enchanted bean.
- 5 : Looking around the Tower until reaching level 6.
- 8 : Got Dodecagram from Dark Neck of the Woods.
- 2 : Cooked Hell Ramen.
+ 25, 2 : Ate Hell Ramen and Cottage Cheese.
-  6 : Adventuring in Dark Heart of the Woods until capping for Rollover.
+ 26 : Drank Bucket of Wine with Ode to Booze.

120 Adventures spent total for Day 1.
60 Adventures banked for Day 2.

Note to self: Get a He-Boulder

Click here for Day 2 analysis.

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